We all have 24 hours day but how we use those 24 hours makes all the difference. We share some time management hacks, to help you as a manager, become more effective in your role and to use your time well.
Managers are expected think strategically but if you haven’t mastered your time management skills, time for strategic thinking will not be present.
“Either you run the day or the day runs you”
Consider the four functions of management, which are to plan, to organise, to lead and to control. How much time do you spend on each function?
The more time you spend planning, the better you are able to organise the plan, lead others toward achieving the plan and then finally evaluate the results of your plan. In reality this does not happen and reaching your department goals becomes more stressful.
Here are 7 practical time management tips to effectively use your time as a manager:
1. Plan first then meet
Start your day with a plan then communicate the plan with your team (in a quick 15 minute meeting). In the 15 minute team meeting you will not only be connecting with your team but clarifying strategic tasks for the day and find out proactively where the possible bottlenecks may exist and what challenges they are facing to get their job done. Organising the resources in advance with a plan, will help you get better results.
2. Take the lead
Leading is an important management function so take the lead in the daily goal achievement process by clarifying the goals of the day and put a system in place for your team that will make achieving the goal possible, whether it is by support or organising additional resources. A self driven team is great however, the team will need direction to get important tasks done not only tasks that they enjoy doing.
3. Eliminate distractions
Always remember that you do not control people in your team, you control the plan and evaluate whether the measures you set out in the plan are working. You control the process to get the most out of people. This involves eliminating distractions (activities and tasks outside of the goal achievement) that will take the team off-track to achieving their primary tasks. This is where you will use your assertiveness skills and communication skills as a manager.
4. Project Management approach
Use a project management approach to your structure day. Have lead times built in for your team, who need your time and support. Do not fill your day with back to back meetings. You need the time between meetings to plan, organise, lead and control. Busy is not always productive. Complete the most critical task of the day first and as a manager that is to support and connect with your team.
5. Limit email time
Emails are not always the best form of communication and take more time than necessary. Productive managers only check their email at allocated times during the day and work it into their schedule (example mid morning, lunch and at the end of the day).
6. Keep meetings short
Keep meetings to 30 minutes. It is not necessary to have 1 hour meetings unless it is a strategic planning meeting which would take longer.
7. Cultivating relationships
The more time you spend cultivating relationships, communicating and connecting with your team – the more effective and productive they will become. The communication quality will increase and they will be more committed to finding timely solutions because of the sense of belonging that you have created.
Take a step back and re-evaluate the way you are investing your day. If you sometimes feel that things are getting out of hand, book for a time management course for more efficient work plans and to learn the principles in time management.
Contact www.atatraining.co.za for time management training, for your team.